After the first successful year, Denali Bug Camp is back – a four-day residential program for 11 to 12-year-olds from all over Alaska – offered at the Denali Education Center’s campus. Participants see the subartic ecosystem from a bug’s eye view – visiting prime insect habitats, practicing various methods of trapping, displaying and starting their own collection of insects – all while camping along the Nenana River at the Denali Education Center. Denali Bug Camp introduces participants to the basics of field science and equip them with the knowledge to continue exploring the field of entomology.
Insects are amazing creatures – small but powerful, slimy yet beautiful – and play important roles in every ecosystem from the tropics to the arctic. Using subarctic habitats for classrooms and expert field scientists as instructors, Denali Bug Camp participants will discover how insects can provide common threads between ecosystems and across species. Participants will spend their days hiking and exploring with their peers as they learn to identify, trap, preserve and display insect specimens for their own collections.
General Camp Structure
The first day of Denali Bug Camp will begin with a brief orientation. During this time, participants and their families will have the opportunity to meet the instructors, review wildlife safety and camp preparedness, and get an overview of the program schedule.
Denali Bug Camp days are spent exploring the roles insects play in the subarctic ecosystem. Innovative activities and games will give participants the opportunity to see the subarctic from the viewpoint of an insect. Each day highlights different habitat types as participants trap and preserve various insect species for their own collections, which they will be creating throughout the week.
To wrap-up Denali Bug Camp, parents and families are invited to a closing ceremony the final morning of the program. During the ceremony, participants will showcase their collections, sharing stories, photos and highlights of the week.
Denali Bug Camp Staff
Participants for Denali Bug Camp will have the opportunity to meet and work with experts of varying scientific backgrounds – from entomologists to botanists and environmental educators. The staff emphasizes the interconnectedness between components of the natural world through fun and engaging activities and games. The combined years of experience in Denali and working with youth adds depth and diversity to the program. Striving to maintain adequate attention to participants, the student to instructor ratio is four-to-one.
Documents for Parents
Below is a list of documents that will help you and your child prepare for Denali Bug Camp. Please print, complete, and return the Medical History & Authorization forms. If you have trouble downloading or printing the documents, please let us know and we will get the pages to you by mail or email.
Medical History & Authorization
Program Infromation & Gear Lists
We’re able to offer this program with generous support from the Alaska Entomological Society and the University Of Alaska Museum Of The North Insect Collection.